Iceland is known for some of its most magnificent views. This Nordic island country is located in the North Atlantic Ocean and is usually considered to be a part of Europe. The population of the Republic of Iceland is only about 330,000, which makes it the least populated country in Europe. For such a small country, Iceland has its fair share of natural phenomena. There are fascinating landscapes with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and lava fields. You’ll find stunning sceneries that range from crystal blue glacier lagoons to green moss volcanoes, black sand beaches, and illuminating ice caves. There are so many beautiful destinations in this country. I want to share four of my favorite places in Iceland to visit. While following along my journey, look at a map of Iceland and you may discover many of the other interesting places that you may want to learn more about.
Jökulsárlón Lake is also known as Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon or the Glacier Lake. This is probably the most photographed place in Iceland and it has become one of Iceland’s most popular attractions. You will be mesmerized by its extreme beauty! You may have seen this Lagoon in some movies like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, and Batman Begins. It was even a setting in the reality TV series Amazing Race.
Jökulsárlón is one of the deepest lakes in Iceland being more than 600 feet deep. It flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean all while leaving chunks of sparkling ice to wash up on the black sand beach. You’ll find blocks of ice in all shapes and colors as they are constantly changing from transparent to white and to an amazing blue color. Some of the ice is even black.
Thanks to the small river leading to the ocean, the lagoon is filled with fish. This fish-filled lagoon hosts hundreds of seals during the winter. They will gather at the river mouth to feed, along with huge numbers of seabirds.
The best time of the year to visit Jökulsárlón is between May and October. Icelandic weather is fierce but weather conditions tend to be worse outside of these months.
You can follow some of the icebergs from Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and down the ocean to Jökulsárlón Diamond Beach to discover the black sand beach. Some icebergs get pushed back to shore and shine like sparkling diamonds on the black sand. The black sand will sometimes stick to the glassy surface of the icebergs, which only adds to their beauty as they lie upon the shore. All the icebergs on the black velvety sand combined with the power of the waves and the sunlight reflecting through and off the icebergs create a place that is so magical. The scattered ice chunks that you find here are simply captivating. You will be hypnotized by the diamond-looking ice chunks.
After about a 30 minute drive from the Diamond Beach, you will find the stunning Crystal Ice Cave of Svínafellsjökull. This cave is located in Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Created by the unparalleled forces of the Vatnajökull ice cap, the Crystal Cave emerged as a result of its glacier meeting the Icelandic coastline. The centuries-old ice that has come from the slopes of Vrffajvkull, Iceland’s tallest active volcano, has compressed all air out of the ice adding to the texture and color of the cave. Everywhere you look in this ancient glacier are different shades of blue colors and natural creations. You’ll experience the extraordinary world of an ice cave where the scattering of the light seeps through the ice giving the cave a mystical blue color. The interaction of light and ice is unique and the experience of being inside the glacier is so breathtaking that no word can describe it. This is definitely a must see in the winter.
The best time of the year to visit Crystal Ice Cave is from November to March. It can be too dangerous to visit in the spring & summer due to a threat of collapse. Cold winter temperatures strengthen the ice and make exploration possible.
The Blue Lagoon is one place you must visit in Iceland! It’s famous for its outdoor pool and health center. Bathing in the steaming salt water of the Blue Lagoon and being surrounded by amazing nature is a dream come true. The Blue Lagoon is simply an oasis of true relaxation. Iceland’s geothermal spa is tucked into a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula where water temperatures average 98 to 102 degrees F. At the Lagoon, you’ll find several saunas and various spa treatments along with a bar and restaurant with views over the lagoon. You can get a water massage under a waterfall, enjoy a white silica mud mask, or simply just take in the marvelous scenery.
Relax and recharge in the soothing, milky blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. The mineral-rich hot water from far beneath the earth forms the spectacular lagoon, where a luxurious health spa has been developed in the rugged lava landscape. The lagoon’s geothermal seawater is known for its positive effects on the skin. The water is rich in silica and sulfur which helps make your skin rejuvenate and shine. The Lagoon’s warm geothermal water and natural active ingredients help you relax and unwind. The Blue Lagoon is without a doubt the most sophisticated spa experience ever!
Iceland is a year-round destination where there’s something to see every day. There’s always an exciting adventure waiting to happen and a spectacular view to be seen!